In cross-country, it’s not how good you look when you’re running; it’s how well you’re running at the end of the year.
And the Mingus Union High School cross-country teams are running well, whether they look good or not doing it.
The Marauders girls team took first place while the boys team tied with Prescott for first at the Yavapai County Championships cross-country meet, run on a challenging, hilly course at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott.
“Everybody looked terrible at the end of the race, and I liked it because they were just looking tired — snot coming out of their nose and foam out of their mouth,” said a smiling Jim Bostwick, the Marauders’ cross-country coach.
Mingus senior Justine Taylor won the girls race by nearly 28 seconds over second-place Natalie Cox of Sedona Red Rock High School, leading her team into the Division III, Section I meet in Holbrook this Saturday.
“I guess it’s just the time of year to be running good,” said Bostwick. “Across the board I was really pleased. I might have had one boy or one girl do poorly for some reason, but their teammates picked them up, so that was kind of cool.”
Bostwick said the Mingus girls team had lost to Prescott at a meet earlier this season, so they were determined not to let that happen again.
“Our goal was, ‘Let’s go see if we can win this,’” he said.
Taylor, who established herself as the best runner fairly early in the girls race, running the final mile unchallenged, said her finish time of 19:55 was not a personal record, but because of the altitude and the hills, she was happy with it and could build on it for a PR at the state meet.
“I think I’m definitely looking at top three [in state] right now,” she said. “And I definitely think I could PR with the competition and it being the state meet.”
For the full story, please see the Wednesday, Oct. 30, issue of the Cottonwood Journal Extra.